Babaluku is certainly one of Uganda’s legendary Emcees. The ability to rap in an African indigenous language is a challenge that most artists avoid, however, Babaluku appears to one of the few artists that rap fluently in his native Lugandan tongue. In fact, he is the originator of the “Luga-flow” which is rap in the Ugandan native tongue. I have noticed that other artists tend to draw upon aspects of colonial English to their music but Babluku celebrates his native tongue and rolls out his words with ease and enjoyment.
Although I am not familiar with the Lugandan tongue or translation, it is obvious that this song is uplifting the culture of Babaluku’s homeland. The significance of his mother tongue displays his personal, social and cultural identity. Babalukus tongue clearly shapes his customs and beliefs and he uses it as a power of expression.
Babluku’s “Luga flow’, is heavily portrayed in his “Bababluku Batulidewo Luga Flow” music video. Through his native tongue, he advocates truth for the future of the youth and people of Uganda. Babaluku told okayafrica that, “This song is meant to be a confidence booster for the people who follow the music industry in Uganda…It’s about standing strong and not only being able to inspire but really design what the future of hip hop in Uganda looks like.”
The setting of this video sheds a light to the industrious of the city of Kampala. Although Uganda has limited resources, Kampala is it’s a growing industrial capital that successfully exports oil, and produce etc. to the rest of the world. Babaluku’s positionality and the experience from his city is evident in his music. Much to my surprise, the video was shot in Canada but Babaluku’s overwhelming language presence will make one think it was a video shot in Kampala, Uganda.
One thing I have learned from this video is that, Babaluku’s mother tongue certainly shows us how astonishing it would be if everyone expressed themselves in their indigenous tongue.